Rethinking Screen Time

 

Two Little Hands Digital

“The American Academy of Pediatrics is reviewing media guidelines in the era of iPads and educational apps, acknowledging that no screen time before age 2 and the two-hour limit for older children may be outdated.” Wall Street Journal’s Sumathi Reddy explains on Lunch Break With Tanya Rivero.

 

In an article by Sumathi Reddy in the Wall Street Journal on October 12th, 2015 it reads:

In a nod to the changing nature of digital media and technology, the American Academy of Pediatrics announced this month that it is starting the process of revising its ironclad guidelines for children and screens.

For more than 15 years it has advised parents to avoid screen time completely for children under the age of 2, and to limit screen time to no more than two hours a day for children older than 2.

In a nod to the changing nature of digital media and technology, the American Academy of Pediatrics announced this month that it is starting the process of revising its ironclad guidelines for children and screens.

For more than 15 years it has advised parents to avoid screen time completely for children under the age of 2, and to limit screen time to no more than two hours a day for children older than 2.

“In a world where ‘screen time’ is becoming simply ‘time,’ our policies must evolve or become obsolete,” the AAP’s media committee wrote in an article published this month in the publication AAP News, which circulates to the academy’s 64,000 members.

Ari Brown, lead author of the article and chair of the AAP committee that’s been investigating children’s media use, noted that the 2011 statement on media use for children under age 2 was being written and published at about the same time as the first generation iPad came out. “It literally felt outdated before we even released it,” Dr. Brown said. “Technology moves faster than science can study it, so we are perpetually behind in our advice and our recommendations.”
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Experts are convening now and hope to be more expansive in their next set of guidelines, which they aim to have out in fall 2016. “All technology is not the same, all media is not the same,” said Dr. Brown. “There’s consumption, and there’s creation, and there’s communication. So if you’re looking at children under 2, there’s a big difference between endless hours of watching cartoons on YouTube and videochatting with Grandma.”

A 2013 survey by Common Sense Media, in San Francisco, found that 38% of children under the age of 2 had used a mobile device. (Count my 2-year-old among them. By 18-months her favorite pastime was talking to Siri on my iPhone.)

“Some of the traditional recommendations, like discouraging all screen time before age 2, just don’t fit with reality circa 2015-2016,” said James Steyer, chief executive of Common Sense Media, which rates all media content for parents.

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Earlier this year an article on BioScienceTechnology.com entitled, Study Finds Videos Can Help Infants Learn Communication Skillsdetails the findings of the research. From the article, “Emory’s study found that babies were consistently able to understand the signs and photos of the corresponding objects after watching an instructional video for 15 minutes, four times a week for three weeks. Babies who watched the video performed just as well in tests as babies who had been taught signs by their parents in similar conditions.”

If you’re already a fan of Baby Signing TimeSigning Time, and Rachel & the TreeSchoolers the  American Academy of Pediatrics is reviewing media guidelines as well as results of the study by researchers at Emory University will come as no surprise. If you’ve ever secretly wondered if using our videos really helps, or if you should be concerned about using the videos with children under age two (a topic we tackle HERE), the results may offer some reassurance. What is particularly exciting about this research is that it looked specifically at sign language acquisition and retention, so the results speak very directly to what we do here at Two Little Hands Productions.